Blog, Amazon Vendors
How Customer Returns Damage Your Amazon Business

This blog post delves into the negative impacts of high return rates and offers insights on effectively managing and reducing them.


Benjamin Weyrich

2 minutes read

2 minutes read


Benjamin Weyrich

Customer return rates, representing the percentage of products sent back to Amazon, significantly impact various aspects of your online business. Understanding and managing these rates is crucial for enhancing profitability, optimizing advertising returns, and maintaining customer satisfaction.

Key Negative Impacts of High Return Rates

Reduced Advertising ROI:

High return rates mean that the actual performance of your Sponsored Ads and DSP campaigns may be overstated, leading to increased advertising costs without corresponding benefits.

Decreased Promotion Effectiveness:

When running promotions, high return rates can diminish the true value of these marketing efforts, eroding profit margins.

Profitability and Operational Costs:

High return rates increase operational costs, which Amazon often passes back to vendors through less favorable terms, chargebacks, or penalties. 

Lowered Product Ranking and Visibility:

Amazon’s algorithm uses customer satisfaction metrics, including return rates, to rank products. High rates can reduce your product's visibility, directly impacting sales potential.

Potential Reputation Damage:

A "frequently returned" label, currently being tested by Amazon, could deter customers from purchasing your products if your return rates are above average for the category.

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Adjusting for Returns in Advertising Costs

Consider a scenario where a Sponsored Ads campaign appears successful on the surface but is undermined by high return rates.

For instance, if a campaign sells 100 units generating €20,000 but has a 20% return rate, the effective cost per sale rises significantly, altering the perceived profitability of the campaign.

Strategies to Analyze and Reduce Return Rates

Utilizing tools like Catapult, an e-commerce analytics platform, can streamline the process of managing return data. With it, vendors can: 

Compare return rates across different markets and product segments

Analyze trends over time to identify spikes in returns

Benchmark individual products against category averages to pinpoint outliers

Cross-reference return data with sales, promotions, and other relevant metrics for a comprehensive performance review


Customer return rates are more than just a metric; they are a direct reflection of how well products meet customer expectations. By analyzing these rates and understanding their implications, vendors can implement strategies to reduce returns, such as improving product descriptions and images. Reducing return rates not only boosts profitability but also enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty, positioning your products more favorably on Amazon. 

For a detailed analysis and further tools to manage your Amazon return rates, visit Catapult

Putting the pieces together

Understanding these nuances enables better strategic decisions and can be enhanced by platforms like Catapult, which provides real-time, integrated data views across departments, crucial for manufacturers operating in multiple countries. Our tool, crafted with input from Amazon vendors, features a centralized dashboard that automatically converts Amazon data into a clear, actionable perspective on your performance.

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